“Christianity is not a religion or a philosophy, but a relationship and a lifestyle. The core of that lifestyle is thinking of others, as Jesus did, instead of ourselves.” – Rick Warren

I am relational

It’s profound when you realize that the essence of God is relational. The trinity, or Godhead as believers understand, is God in three distinct persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. The three persons of the trinity are in unbreakable and eternal union. This is a relational mystery.

As the Relational One, God has created all things to live in relationship. This is very evident in the natural world, as all living things “relate” to other living things by design. Human beings are the pinnacle of God’s creation and thus we are His highest model and design of relationship. In fact, you are made and meant to “do life” with others. No one is meant to go it alone. God declared this truth in the first book of the Bible, Genesis:

God said, “It’s not good for the Man to be alone; I’ll make him a helper, a companion.” – Genesis 2:18

Of course, it stands to reason that it’s not good for a woman, the helper God created for man, to be alone either!

Relationships illuminate identity

Only through many types of relationships do you and I come to understand and know who we truly are in Christ. In other words, relationships actually shed light on – illuminate – who you were made to be! If you struggle to be involved in the lives of others, you’re missing out on the fullness of life God intends for you. These relationships may involve members of your family, social circles, neighbors and of course people in your faith community.

To be relational, you must also be willing to be accountable. Accountability starts with sharing your life, even in simple ways. To be accountable also means you’re willing to be vulnerable. As each relationship develops and trust grows, a mutual level of healthy intimacy is a natural outgrowth. Finding a body of believers wherever you live is critical in cultivating a level of relationship and accountability with others. This is mutually beneficial and will deepen your faith and strengthen your identity as a follower of Christ.

“The glory of God is available to you in the church in a way it’s not available to you anywhere else. . . . There is no more important means of discipleship than deep involvement in the life of the church.” – Tim Keller

“…be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your hearts to the Lord; always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to our God and Father…” Ephesians 5:18-20 (NASB)

“You were all called to travel on the same road and in the same direction, so stay together, both outwardly and inwardly. You have one Master, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who rules over all, works through all, and is present in all. Everything you are and think and do is permeated with Oneness.” – Ephesians 4:4-6 (The Message)

“…working within Christ’s body, the church, until we’re all moving rhythmically and easily with each other, efficient and graceful in response to God’s Son, fully mature adults, fully developed within and without, fully alive like Christ.” – Ephesians 7:15-16 (The Message)

“That day about three thousand took him at his word, were baptized and were signed up. They committed themselves to the teaching of the apostles, the life together, the common meal, and the prayers… all the believers lived in a wonderful harmony, holding everything in common… They followed a daily discipline of worship in the Temple followed by meals at home, every meal a celebration, exuberant and joyful, as they praised God. Acts 2:41-47 (various verses in this section)

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